Ron Cook, a drag racer from Monroe, Washington, sold his car to help a baby he's never met.
Casen Buswell, 9 months old, was born with a rare vascular condition called Glomuvenous Malformations Plaque Type, which hardens his blood vessels, skin and muscle. If untreated, it could lead to heart failure.
Because of the rarity of the condition — little Casen is one of only 14 people in the world with it — the only treatment currently available is in Belgium. His family anticipates the frequent trips overseas to cost thousands of dollars.
"I think life throws a lot of curveballs, and this is definitely one of them," said Jenna Buswell, Casen's mother.
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When Cook heard Casen's story, he felt compelled to act. He decided to sell his 1957 Chevy Bel-Air, which he hoped would bring in at least $10,000, and donate the money to the Buswell family.
In the end, he raffled off the classic car for $11,000.
The winner of the car, Della Phillip, then donated the car back for a second raffle, boosting the auction total to $31,000 for the family, the Sky Valley Chronicle reports.
"My mom died of lung cancer quite a few years ago. It reminded me of her and her last days — just real short and fast breaths," Cook told KOMO News.
"She lived a pretty long life. He ain't even started to live yet. That's why I want to see him live," he said of his determination to help Casen.
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Casen's story resonated with strangers across the country. Since his story first aired on KOMO News, compassionate viewers have given his family almost $21,000. They hope to raise $50,000 in the coming months to cover treatment and travel expenses.
"The thing I want everyone to know is that our Thanksgiving table may be small when we're eating dinner, but it's really going to be quite large. I'll be thinking of everyone who has helped us," Buswell told ABC News yesterday. "This Thanksgiving is about living every moment to the fullest."